Wakelyns Squash Selection

Hodmedod's British Pulses & Grains

Marion Gaze has grown squashes and other vegetables in the alleys between the rows of trees at Wakelyns Agroforestry for over 20 years. Over the last year she's passed the horticultural batton to Chloe, Holly and Rachel who've established RealVeg, an incredible no-dig community supported agriculture scheme.

Marion says this is her last year growing at Wakelyns, we're not so sure, but we're delighted to be able to offer this harvest of squashes - whether her last growing them at the farm or not!

Marion planted a range of winter squash varieties this year. We've got four types in the box; all have been carefully cured to mature and sweeten the flesh and ensure they store well.

Blue Ballet (x 1, min 800g) Grey-blue skin with intensely sweet orange flesh. Delicious sliced into wedges, roasted and added to risottos, stews, soups and casseroles. As with all the squashes in the box the skin is edible, don't bother trying to peel them, if you're making a puree or don't like the skin it's much easier to remove after cooking.

Red Kuri (x 1, min 800g A beautiful orange skinned squash with firm, sweet, chestnutty flesh. Roasts beautifully and makes excellent winter soups, or try pureeing the flesh with creme fraiche (or alternative), seasoning with salt and pepper and using as a pasta sauce, particularly good with our mezzi rigatoni.

Buttercup (x 1, min 800g) Dark green with pale stripes and dense orange flesh. This squash lends itself well as an alternative to mashed potato on top of winter pies. Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds, bake until tender then scoop the flesh out and use just as you would mashed potato. Also excellent raw; slice into very thin ribbons, marinate in Liberty Fields balsamic vinegar and serve as an appetiser or side salad.

Sweet Dumpling (x 2, min 400g each) Ridged cream and green striped skin with pale yellow flesh. Carefully cut off the top, scoop out the seeds, stuff as you prefer - though make sure that whatever you put in will cook at the same rate as the squash - and bake until tender.

We've suggested recipes ideas that work particularly well with each variety, but they're quite interchangeable. And don't throw away the seeds from your squashes, they can be roasted or toasted and used in bread, as sprinkles on salads or as a tasty snack.

When you get your box don't be tempted to refrigerate the squashes, they prefer being kept in a warmish (10 to 20C), well ventilated room. All the squash will store until Christmas, and probably into January (but do check for signs of rot the longer you have them).

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